The Glock 43X is one of the most popular concealed carry firearms on the market. And a lot of people also use it for home defense due to its ergonomics and comfortable size. Considering that most people will be using this gun in a self-defense role, it’s most likely you’ll be carrying it in some sort of Glock 43X concealed carry holster. There are multiple ways you can carry this gun and each carry position will need a holster that is optimized for that carry position to give you the best user experience. We are going to cover all the different carry positions, and how to choose the right holster for that carry position.
Glock 43x IWB Holster
Most people will use a Glock 43X IWB holster at either appendix or strong side, although there are some people who may want to carry small of the back. I would suggest going with appendix carry, which means forward to the hips, or strong side carry, which is at or behind the hips instead of small of the back.
The reason you not want to carry at small of the back is that it could cause long-term back issues. When you’re carrying small of the back, it places the gun right up next to the spine, so if you were to fall and slip, it could cause a catastrophic back injury. Just carrying a gun small of the back throughout the day can have a slow wear on your back and cause long-term issues over a period of time. Since you are carrying a gun to protect your long-term health, you want to avoid carrying in a position that can cause damage to your long-term health. There are specific features you want to look for in a Glock 43X IWB holster depending on the position you’re carrying at. So below, we’re going to go over both appendix carry and strong side carry and what to look for in a holster when you’re choosing one for each position.
G43X Appendix Holster
When carrying at the appendix, the Glock 43X is going to sit in a pocket that sits between your inner thigh and your groin. To have the most comfortable experience, you want to fill that entire pocket. That may sound counterintuitive, but the more that pocket is filled the more evenly pressure will be applied preventing pressure from building up in one area causing a hotspot. A hotspot is an area that causes pain or discomfort. At first, it may sound counterintuitive, but you may want to carry your Glock 43X in a Glock 48 length holster. The reason for this is the longer the holster, the more evenly it will spread out pressure within that pocket. The Glock 43X is not a light gun for its size when you consider the fact that most of the weight of the gun is sitting in the magazine.
When you carry appendix most of the weight of any gun sits above the belt line, and that goes even more so for a gun like the Glock 43X. Especially if you’re carrying the gun with a shield S-15 magazine that holds an extra five rounds. All that weight makes the gun top heavy and causes the gun to want to tip out away from the body. This forcees the muzzle of the gun into your groin potentially creating a hotspot. Having a Glock 48 length holster will help alleviate that. Another feature that will help alleviate that is having a well-rounded muzzle. A well-rounded muzzle helps a lot, and I see just having it on a Glock 43X or a Glock 48 holster, but the well-rounded muzzle will not help nearly as much as just having a longer holster.
Considering the gun is sitting in that pocket, you also want to make sure the area underneath the trigger guard is very well-rounded. Most holster designs have sharp edges in that area, and they can poke your thigh. That is not comfortable when carrying a gun all day long. Well-rounded edges are a must for any appendix carry holster. Other features you’re going to want to consider are ride height. The reason ride height is important is it affects three different factors: comfort, concealment, and draw speed. We’ve already covered comfort as it relates to the pocket, but we’ll go more in depth. A holster is usually anchored to your waistband via a belt. That belt is going to sit a certain position on your hips, depending on the pants you’re wearing, as well as the build of your hips. This position of the belt is going to change for each person as relates to the distance from the pocket where the holster should naturally sit for the most comfortable position.
If you have adjustable ride height on your holster, you can tailor the height of that holster so it sits perfectly in that pocket. When it comes to concealment, a lower ride height generally means the gun will be more concealable. The closer the grip sits to the belt, the more concealable the gun will be. The inverse is true for draw speed. It’s very easy for the belt to impact your draw. So the higher the grip gets away from the belt, the quicker it will be for you to grab the grip and get the gun out of the holster. Unfortunately, there is no perfect world, so you’ll have to find a compromise that works best for you, but having an adjustable ride height gives you the option to choose. Unless a holster has adjustable ride height, you’ll be stuck with how the holster sits, and it will be less comfortable and likely not meet your ride height requirements either.
A wedge is a device that sits between the back of the holster and the body. It sits down below by the muzzle and helps kick the muzzle out away from the body. The advantage of this is while kicking the muzzle out away from the body it pushes the grip of the gun into the body. So it counteracts gravity that we were talking about before. This is a very important feature on a gun like a Glock 43X that is fairly top heavy. I definitely suggest using this if you have a Glock 48 holster, but it’s even more important if you have a Glock 43X specific holster. A shorter length holster will gain a lot of comfort by using a wedge.
A claw or a wing is a device that sits on the side of the holster by the trigger guard and uses force from the belt to leverage the grip of the gun tight into the body. It makes the grip of the gun a lot more concealable. Another advantage is by changing the angle of the grip for concealment, it also optimizes the angle of the grip to meet your hand more naturally when you go to draw the gun. This will make your draw at appendix carry just slightly faster. You may or may not notice it, but on the clock it will shave just a little bit of time. That really makes a difference.
Strong side carry is similar to appendix carry in that you want to make sure you have a well-rounded holster. If you have a flatter rear end, then you’re going to want to go with a Glock 43X length holster. The reason for this is the extra length of a Glock 48 holster could potentially print through your pants. Whereas if you have any more shapely rear end, I would suggest going with a Glock 48 length holster because it will be much more comfortable.
Whether you go with a Glock 43X length holster or a Glock 48 length, I would suggest making sure you have a well-rounded muzzle. It’s very important that the muzzle is well-rounded because that area will be sitting up against your rear end and poking into it slightly. If the muscle is not well-rounded, it’s going to feel like a rough cut two by four is sticky into your rear end versus a tennis ball or softball lightly pressed into it. That makes a big difference when you’re carrying a gun 12 to 18 hours a day. The feature that I think is most important for concealment is going to be adjustable cant. Adjustable cant, just like adjustable ride height for appendix, is something you’ll need to tailor to your specific body type. Adjustable cant affects both concealment and your draw stroke. By adjusting the cant, you can get the grip of the Glock 43X to meet your kidney.
This will make a nice concealable surface keeping the gun concealed close against your body. The Glock 43X is a very slim gun so it’s a good gun to carry strong side IWB as it’s less likely to print than a thicker gun like a Glock 19. Draw stroke is another important factor you’ll want to look at. You can also adjust the cant for draw stroke. We all have different length arms and the position between our belt line and our shoulders is going to be different depending on our body types.
We want a position so the angle of your hand naturally meets the grip of the gun to get an efficient draw stroke. Sometimes this lines up to be the same angle as your optimal concealment and other times it does not, but by having adjustable cant between 30 and zero degrees, it gives you the option to decide what is the optimal cant for your specific scenario.
G43x OWB Holster
The Glock 43X is not a duty style firearm. It is designed for concealed carry. So you’re likely going to be carrying this in a concealment OWB style holster. There are two main features you want in a G43X OWP holster. Those features are adjustable cant, just like a strong side holster, and a pancake style holster that sits close to the body. The Glock 43X is a slim firearm, but you need to make sure that it sits very close to the body to remain concealable. Cant is also very important because, just like strong side, you want to be able to get that grip nice and tight against your kidney and not sticking out of your shirt. And again, when you have a holster between zero and 30 degrees of cant, you can also adjust for optimal draw stroke. You want your arm to naturally extend so your hand angle doesn’t have to change when grabbing the grip of the firearm. This will allow you for a quick efficient draw.